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Poll: Does whether or not a ProZ.com user shows his/her real name affect how you view that person?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 11:54
SITE STAFF
Jan 20, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Does whether or not a ProZ.com user shows his/her real name affect how you view that person?".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 13:54
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, I think it does Jan 20, 2006

Not from my point of view, though, because I load into PROZ every day and so I am getting accustomed to see all sorts of names. But when my husband (and other people who are not translators to whom I have shown the site) see some names for the first time, they automatically say that they would not trust a translation to people with funny names, as they think they are not serious enough. Also the photos affect quite a lot and perhaps more than the name. Would you hire somebody who looks like a baby or Winnie the Pooh, or a horse? Who that person really is? Wouldn't you like to have an idea of who is going to make your translation? All these comments came from others, as I repeat, not from me, but then you can see that companies or individuals who do not enter this site often, DO care!

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Sandra Petch
Local time: 20:54
French to English
+ ...
Not in the least Jan 20, 2006

On the other hand, what surprises me are the number of "unprofessional" photos... cats are cute but they don't necessarily say "professional translator". For the record, my furry pal is curled up asleep on my knee as I type!

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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jan 20, 2006

Other things include:

The picture of the colleague and 'identity verified' (very important IMO).

Also colleagues posting jobs with lowlowlow rates influence my opinion concerning that colleague.

Fred


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Arianna Tremayne  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
German to English
+ ...
My 10 cents... Jan 20, 2006

The question is why?
Why does a person offering professional services need an 'ID' or 'screen name'?
It would - from a promotional point of view - be best to disclose as much business information about oneself as possible. Especially when the business is conducted initially over the Internet and the person is somehow 'virtual' anyway.
For me it is always nicer to deal with someone where I have a name and a face - then the person is much more real and easier to contact or to communicate to.
Arianna


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Sandra Petch
Local time: 20:54
French to English
+ ...
Customers' view Jan 20, 2006

Sandra Petch wrote:

On the other hand, what surprises me are the number of "unprofessional" photos... cats are cute but they don't necessarily say "professional translator". For the record, my furry pal is curled up asleep on my knee as I type!



Having read the other posts, it seems that the big question is how not using one's real name may affect potential CUSTOMERS' opinion of a person. In this instance, I would agree that a real name is better.

[Edited at 2006-01-20 13:35]


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
English to Polish
There are better ways of verifying translators Jan 20, 2006

Personally I don't feel comfortable with disclosing my name publicly... Of course, this portal is a way of promotion and mostly professionals come here, but still... anyone can have a lot of info about me here, and this is discomforting enough.

I have had some problems with "spies", so this is discouraging me to disclose my name even more. No private info publicly.

But does that mean I'm not a good translator?

Another matter that my name contains characters that are not in basic English alphabet and I don't want to twist the name around to make it show properly


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Arianna Tremayne  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
German to English
+ ...
A subject I feel very strongly about Jan 20, 2006

[quote]tvbtiger wrote:

Personally I don't feel comfortable with disclosing my name publicly... Of course, this portal is a way of promotion and mostly professionals come here, but still... anyone can have a lot of info about me here, and this is discomforting enough.


I do understand your viewpoint, and to be honest, I did not feel very comfortable at first as well.

But, it's like door-to-door marketing: somebody knocks at your door and is there - in person and you have to speak to them.

When you put yourself out there into the cyber-world - you are there, can be found, googled, whatever. You get more work.
Whenever a name appears in a discussion like this one it aooears in a google search..

And - one always gets the impression, the person has got something to hide. Do you want to trust your business someone who has got something to hide?

Arianna


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Graciela Carlyle  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
I so much agree with you Arianna! Jan 20, 2006

[quote]Arianna Tremayne wrote:

tvbtiger wrote:

Personally I don't feel comfortable with disclosing my name publicly... Of course, this portal is a way of promotion and mostly professionals come here, but still... anyone can have a lot of info about me here, and this is discomforting enough.


I do understand your viewpoint, and to be honest, I did not feel very comfortable at first as well.

But, it's like door-to-door marketing: somebody knocks at your door and is there - in person and you have to speak to them.

When you put yourself out there into the cyber-world - you are there, can be found, googled, whatever. You get more work.
Whenever a name appears in a discussion like this one it aooears in a google search..

And - one always gets the impression, the person has got something to hide. Do you want to trust your business someone who has got something to hide?

Arianna


The same happens with the postings, I hate to reply to threads where the poster doesn't show a real name and doesn't even bother to sign with his/her name. You don't know if you're talking to a man or a woman (not that it matters, but yes for the way I address to him/her), and you could even be cheated about the identity of someone.

I wholehartedly think that there should be some way of really verifying the identity of members and make it public.
The Internet despite it's amazing advantages, has become a very suspicious place.

My 2p
Grace


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Sandra C.
France
Local time: 20:54
English to French
+ ...
Not at all Jan 20, 2006

Personally, I could care less wether someone uses their real name or not. It's really up to them and I don't see why it should have anything to do with their level of professionalism or seriousness! I think that is just ridiculous!
Same thing for the photo; I think some of the ones on Proz are really inventive and beautiful, and some show a great sense of humour, of values and priorities. Someone whose photo represents children or babies seems to me to value family before work, and that says something much more important about them than any 'personal' photo could have.
The bottom line is, wether people use their real name or not, use a photo of themselves or not, you NEVER know who you're dealing with in this 'virtual world' that is the WWW. Even when you deal with someone face to face, there's often BIG surprises! You can't look at someone or hear their name and know if they do a good job or not, if they pay on time (if at all) or not.

So, people, lighten up, this is the Internet, there will always be a part of mystery. We might as well keep it fun; work is NOT the meaning of life.

ps… how do you know if that's really me, in 'my' picture??

[Edited at 2006-01-21 07:22]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
Flemish to English
+ ...
Bill Gates Vista. Jan 20, 2006

Why don't companies name themselves after the names of their CEO's? So end of this year we will not be using Windows Vista, but Bill Gates Vista.
Is this site so much geared for the individual translator that it has never occurred to the mind of some that the name used can be the name for more than one person.


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Selling a service Jan 20, 2006

Hi Williamson,

I have no problem in particular with your dolphin. I take many things into account when judging an individual personally or via Internet.

On the other hand,

Williamson wrote:

Why don't companies name themselves after the names of their CEO's? So end of this year we will not be using Windows Vista, but Bill Gates Vista.


This has to do with marketing strategy more than anything, or ask Mr. Ford.

Williamson wrote:
Is this site so much geared for the individual translator that it has never occurred to the mind of some that the name used can be the name for more than one person.


So, who is talking now? I have seen you in other forums. Shall I assume this was not you? Or was it you? See the problem? I simply don't know.

I could put the name of my agency, but I decided to participate in Proz.com as Fred Neild, so when I say something it is me, not the agency or 'enrog93'.

Like I said, IMO it is an option, but this will have an effect on the way colleagues and prospects see you. Even when someone participates in a forum 'dressed' as an agency, people are more respectful, the opposite? Maybe.

And, finally, this is a service. When you sell a service you don't sell the packaging, the content, etc. You sell 'you'. So, your name, your picture, and anything related to your person is essential.

Fred


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Ines Garcia Botana  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:54
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do agree with Arianna, too Jan 20, 2006

"The question is why?" Arianna says. Why? It would be best for all of us to know who the person is. Is he/she hiding something? Obviously. Can you trust that person? There are some people here who don't have their names written even in their profiles.

If we are "virtual" translators we must show as much information about us as possible. Nothing to hide.
"A name and a face," says Arianna. I can understand that some people prefer to show a picture rather than their faces, but not their names. Or a nickname. Sometimes we don't know if we are dealing with a man or a woman. Sometimes, we think he is a man and then it turns out to be a woman. Why does he/she do that?

Our views are usually influenced by our life experiences. ProZians who state that the use of nicknames (as opposed to real names) does not bother them may have never had bad experiences with nickname users. Lucky them. This is not the case for other people. So I personally don’t consider the use of nicknames in this site (or other sites where services are offered) professional or trust-inspiring –at all.

I learnt, long time ago, that it is more important to be a good person than a good professional, i.e, than a good translator.

Although, in Grace's words, the Internet has become a very suspicious place, I deeply believe that the Staff should take all the necessary steps to make Proz.com a safe place.

This is what I think.

Inés



[Edited at 2006-01-20 17:35]

[Edited at 2006-01-20 18:29]


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:54
Flemish to English
+ ...
Legal Entity Jan 20, 2006

Williamson Communications ltd is a registered company and thus a legal entity.
A legal entity can be incorporated anywhere on the planet and does not necessarily equals a physical person.

Besides, I don't work alone.
Let's say that I am the linguist, but that the group of my former fellow students at a management program consisted of a Vet. Surgeon, electro technical engineer, a pharmacist etc....
A friend of mine has lived in Germany for 4 years, where he had his own technical consulting company and was responsible for setting up building sites. He is obsessed with technical things.
To circumvent the "Mother-tongue Only Mantra", I have texts translated into languages I dominate well enough, but which are not my mother-tongue revised by others, whose mother-tongue is the target langue. These people are not Proz.com members, but when need be I team up with them, so that the translation is correct both from a semantic and syntax point of view.


[Edited at 2006-01-20 16:39]


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De la Vera Cruz
Argentina
Local time: 15:54
English to Spanish
No, it doesn't affect my opinion Jan 20, 2006

When I first registered with proz.com (some years ago), I used the same nickname I am using now. I registered here as I registered in many other sites. What I can't remember is why I chose a nickname for ones and my complete name for others (my nickname is the first part of my name "Verónica" and the first part of my last name "Brunetto") A couple of years gone by without my using proz, until last year I "discovered" the forums and kudoz and I decided to go platinum and my identity was verified. Nicknames don't bother me, and I would like to have my picture in my profile if only I could make my scanner work; I like seeing other people's faces, but still it's not that important to me. I've never asked whether I could change my nickname and start using my real name and still have my identity verified, though.
OK, I think I'm going off topic so, all in all I don't mind if translators choose to use a nickname and not to display a photo, but maybe if I had known about proz some years ago what I know now, I would have chosen to use my real name, I don't know.

See you (or read you)

Verónica


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